Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hurricanes in GTMO

As soon as Hurricane season comes around we are bombarded with information on how to prepare in case this is "the big one," how to prepare a hurricane kit, where to go if we have to evacuate (funny as that sounds, some of us do have to evacuate), and we learn to memorize the sirens played around the base that tell us exactly what to do, you know, in case the big one hits us here in GTMO.

I have lived here almost two years and after all the preparedness we've done we have yet to get anything more than some wind and some rain. In fact, we've seen more rain in the month of May with no major storm preparation then in the last two hurricane threats of the season.

Now understand, that doesn't mean you shouldn't prepare or have kit ready as well as an evacuation plan. Not at all.  We always have a plan, we just never get to put into action, which is just fine with me and we are very grateful to be spared the troubles of housing the pets, tying down the outdoor furniture, and moving to the Elementary School.  I would have to include Wine in my Hurricane Kit.

During this hurricane season, I can't help but think about the people who live in the Hurricane Alley and can't evacuate or can't protect what little they have.  I can only pray they do the best they can to survive and that the Hurricane loses strength or takes a detour, something.  We are fortunate enough to have the means to protect our loved ones and our homes.

If you are considering GTMO as your next duty station or even as a contractor know this:

The last major Hurricane to really hit GTMO was in 1963.
Base security does a really great job preparing the base.
We have hurricane safe homes and other buildings used for evacuation purposes.
Our NEX and Commissary are well stocked and also do a great job helping us prepare hurricane kits.

As for the pets, we generally talk to families with pets and arranged to have ours stay with them. There's always a way around the shelter restrictions.

On this Hurricane number two of the season I can say that our Soccer or Volleyball games have not been canceled; swimming lessons are still on, and everything functions as usual. Hopefully saying this wont mean that the next hurricane is going to flood the base, yikes! Anyway, it's alright here, even during the hurricane season.

Emily gave us some rain, Irene a little wind, that's all.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Cirque Odyssey

Last night was a really fun night here in GTMO. MWR has been doing a great job bringing in different acts. Musicians, comedians,even the Missoula Children's theatre was here recently. I have pictures and more to say about that later.

But about last night. The one time I leave my house without my camera, we went to see Cirque Odyssey, similar to Cirque De Soleil, sort of. There were contortionists, dancers, really strong guys and very interesting acts on stage.

Recently weve been tailgating prior to any good show. It's a way to have fun, get out with friends and let the kids play while we wait for the show to start. Tailgating at an outdoor theater has been the highlight of our evenings out.

Chelsey Handler was here a few months ago making us laugh along with a few of her friends, we've had several musicians in every genre, and now were gearing up for the Navy Ball, the Marine Corps Ball and early next year the Seabee Ball.

Never a boring day here in Guantanamo Bay, at least not if you don't want it to be.

So much more to share...until next time!

Friday, August 19, 2011

My cat in a cast

Mittens broke her leg, right down the middle and none of us really know what happened. My guess is she was scared off a tree or had a bad fall jumping over the fence, who knows. She now has two broken bones. Thankfully for us, we have a vet in town and she's pretty inventive with what little we have here in GTMO.
After a few X-Rays and determining the extent of her injuries the Doc said my options were:
1. Amputate the leg
2. Fly her off island - expenses would reach nearly $3000
3. Attempt to straighten and cast the leg
Obviously, we chose option #3. It was the least expensive, least invasive, and humane way to treat her. However, unlike people, animals have a way of wiggling out of a cast. The first cast got a little wet and she was out of it within minutes. The second one took a little longer, about a week. After that one the Doc suggested we keep her confined in a crate or the bathroom. We went for the bathroom with a few visits to Emily's room for some cuddle time. Somehow she managed to wiggle out of that cast and now she's in her third cast. Third time's the charm... I hope!
Mittens is very playful and lively little cat. This, as you can imagine, has put a crimp in her style. But, we promised to help her heal and so we must follow doctor's orders.
We're just glad we have our Vet and her assistants to helps us help Mittens keep her little paw. She may not be crazy about her condition or the life style she's had to adopt, but she'll be thankful later when she has all four paws to play with.

Mittens, you have three more weeks of confiment and then you'll be free to roam, well, the house at least. As much as we love to see them playing outdoors, it's evidently not a safe world out there. Updates on her condition will be forthcoming.

Photos by: Emily Wanger

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